Hotdogs are an iconic food, making appearances everywhere from tailgates to family dinners. While hotdogs consist of only a few ingredients, how they are prepared separates a good hotdog from a great one. Taking a few moments to steam the hot dog buns prior to serving elevates the meal by creating a warm, soft and moist backdrop against the hotdog. Steam hotdog buns on the grill, on the stove top or in the microwave if you want to really hit this dish out of the park.
Buns on the Grill
Take advantage of the grill to steam your buns at the same time you grill hotdogs. Lightly spritz the inside and outside of the hotdog buns with water. Purchase a new, clean empty spray bottle for spritzing.
Wrap each lightly spritzed hotdog bun tightly in aluminum foil. Place the aluminum-wrapped hotdog buns on the grill for a few minutes, flipping once. Avoid placing the buns directly over the heat source; instead, place them on an upper rack or along the sides of the grill.
Remove the hotdog buns from the grill. Keep them wrapped until just before serving to keep them warm and moist.
Buns on the Stove Top
Add a few inches of water to the bottom of a pot and bring to a boil.
Place a rack, steamer insert or steamer basket into the pot, making sure it does not come into direct contact with the water. Place the hotdog buns on top of the rack or steam insert, or into the basket and cover the pot with a lid.
Steam the hotdog buns for 30 to 60 seconds and remove from the pan. Serve immediately.
Buns in the Microwave
Moisten a paper towel lightly with water by spritzing it with a water bottle or gently flicking a few drops of water on it with your fingers. You want the paper towel slightly damp but not soaked.
Wrap the moistened paper towel around a hotdog bun and put it in the microwave.
Microwave the hotdog bun for approximately 10 seconds; it may need more or less time depending on the model of your microwave. Be careful not to overcook, or the hotdog bun will get mushy.
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- If you're boiling your hotdogs you can use the steam created to steam your hot dog buns by holding them over the boiling water with a pair of tongs for 30 to 60 seconds.
- If you're steaming over the stove top, add seasonings to your water to inject a little dose of flavor into your hotdog buns: use chicken stock instead of water, or add fresh herbs to the water.
- Steam can reach a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit, so be careful when using steam to avoid burns. Point the lid away from you when taking a lid off of a steaming pot of water.
Christina Kalinowski is a writer from the Twin Cities who began her career in 2011. She contributes food and drink related articles to The Daily Meal. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from Purdue University.